Class 4. New models of comprehension

Student co-created and improved lesson


Can games be viewed as a new narrative for building comprehension?


Games in Education Talk, Standards/ game elements/ games--WoW--video games unit, Salon Questions

A new Game (we already played):
Sissyfight- An interactive online game were bullying is OKAY because nobody gets physically hurt!

Questions for Salon:

  • What is deep learning? Can games create this?
  • What is the role of the teacher if we use games in the classroom?
  • if we “just turn learners loose in rich environments”, do you think they will slow down and become better comprehenders?
  • How do games create motivation and engagement? How can we use this?
  • What is comprehension? Can you improve comprehension with games?
  • Can you compare game elements to text elements?
  • Can we look at interaction with any type of media as a literate act? Do popular culture and new digital media a form of literacy have the potential to help individuals develop deep comprehension practices?
  • What is the value of non-linear design? How does it relate to the structure models in the lesson? Is it hard to design?
  • What are the new literacies? Should we be teaching them? Will they get in the way of traditional schooling?
  • How about standardized tests? Are the state/ national standards useful or do they limit us from real learning?
  • Will games prepare kids for the tests? For life?
  • How do we get students to feel like they a professional in their learning? How can the students become scientists in science lesson, mathematicians in math, authors in literacy?

  • Can we make our classrooms like games and develop non-linear lessons?
Quote form Chad's blog:“Anticipatory versus Complex Systems,” good designers will try to guess what players are going to attempt to do and make their game respond well to those actions. Later in the article he talks about “Non-linearity” in the game industry. Rouse states, “Non-linearity is what interesting gameplay is all about, and many designers forget this in their work. Non-linearity gives interactivity meaning, and without non-linearity, game developers might as well be working on movies instead.”

What is non-linearity?
Can we do this in our classrooms without computers?
Do you think the bullying game is non-linear?

  • Can we:
  • have experiences in different worlds where we can manipulate virtual worlds, set and achieve goals, and facilitate important features such as distributed knowledge (share of knowledge between virtual characters and the actual player) and “cross-functional affiliation” (a group of people who identify with one another as players of the same game, not based on age, sex, beliefs, class, etc. and shares knowledge of both the game itself, as well as a deeper knowledge of a particular character or function of the game) (27). In non-linear games, is that the basis for fun? Was the game we did on bullying considered a non-linear game? Was that what made it fun? If not, what made it fun?

  • Is there a point where teachers can go too far in getting some students engaged in learning? Could those students then expect all of their learning to be entertaining or interesting for them to pay attention? Linda's Blog

Addy says:
My question now is so what? What can I do as a teacher to implement these kinds of ideas and theories into a classroom? I came from a classroom that seemed full of parents trying to get their kids away from video games, so how would I implement a type of introductory lesson of some sort to show the value and learning that can be found in using video games? Perhaps using a game such as Pikmin and reflecting on the ways that the Pikmin work together with the main character to help him/the player accomplish his goals of rebuilding his spaceship (i.e. how can we help each other in similar ways)? Additionally, how as a teacher can you find the resources to allow anywhere from 20-30+ students play a game like Pikmin or are you limited to a computer based game that could be played in a computer lab?

The Super Surfers pointed out that while we focus our attention on how we can get our students to focus, how can we ourselves focus in on what we are teaching? Also, how can we help our students focused on learning while still allowing them to have fun, especially in reading? In relation to the games we played, how can we as teachers guide students in reflecting on their experiences playing game? Is there a way to teach them this skill so that it is easy for them to apply not only to games played at school, but also when they're playing at home too?

Erin asks:
can you learn through watching? Certainly the kids could read the directions, look for clues themselves, and watch what each player would do, but were they getting something out of it for themselves? When they took a turn, did they apply what they learned from watching?

Key terms:

platform games, new literacy, traditional literacy, comprehension, agency, identity, situation models, event indexing, secondary sources, strategies vs. being strategic

Due for Class 5:

Read Gee chapters 5 & 7. 30 pages / Blog 4 summary of readings/ wiki 4